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Title:From civic place to digital space: The design of public libraries in Britain from past to present
Author(s):Black, Alistair; Pepper, Simon
Subject(s):Information and Space
Spatial Analogies
Library Design
Abstract:Inaugurated as, at once, an antidote to the social problems of industrialization and a cultural and “scientific” helpmate to progress in an industrial society, public libraries in Britain first appeared in 1850 and soon became a familiar feature, not only on the sociocultural, but also the urban-architectural, landscape. Over the past century and a half, changes in the public library built form have reflected changes in the aims of the public library movement, in architectural style and planning and in wider society. The development and symbolism of the public library built form is analyzed in five periods, stretching from the pre–First World War phases of civic architecture and large-scale philanthropic eclecticism, through the interwar period of embryonic modernism, to the post–Second World War era of full-blown modernism and the subsequent postmodernism of the digital age. In each of these periods, the public library building can be “read” as readily as the books they contained.
Issue Date:2012
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library Trends 61 (2) Fall 2012: 440-470.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-31

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